Published Saturday, November 7, 2015 2:21PM EST
MONTREAL — Julie Levenhagen was known only as “baby Agathe” when she was adopted from a Montreal hospital at nine days old.
Now, some 34 years later, and frustrated with her attempts to learn about her parentage, Levenhagen has taken to Facebook with the little information she knows: she was born July 26, 1981 at Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital to a 22-year-old nursing assistant mother with six siblings, and a 32-year-old electrician father.
Because adoption records in Quebec are confidential, that “non-identifying” information in her file is all that Levenhagen is entitled to under the province’s laws — unless her biological parents can be found and agree to be identified.
“It’s really frustrating because a lot of us adoptees feel that it’s our right to know where we come from,” Levenhagen said. “It’s an innate human need.”
Levenhagen, who now lives in Arizona, filed a request with the youth centre in charge of her file last November. They in turn will try to reach her biological family and see if they consent to open the file.
So far she hasn’t heard anything — not surprising, as the process can take 12 to 18 months. However, if her birth parents have died or can’t be located, she is not entitled to know their names, see her adoption file, or get medical records she says could be pertinent to her health.
“My best-case scenario is that I can reconnect with family, and have more people in my life,” Levenhagen said. “The worst-case is they choose not to reconnect, and if so I’ll understand. But I hope I can at least get medical records, and knowledge as to what diseases, if any, run in my family.”